Role of Coconut

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A coconut is an essential element of rituals in Hindu tradition. Often it is decorated with bright metal foils and other symbols of auspiciousness. It is offered during worship to a Hindu god or goddess. Irrespective of their religious affiliations, fishermen of India often offer it to the rivers and seas in the hopes of having bountiful catches. Hindus often initiate the beginning of any new activity by breaking a coconut to ensure the blessings of the gods and successful completion of the activity. The Hindu goddess of well-being and wealth, Goddess Lakshmi, is often shown holding a coconut. In the foothills of the temple town of Palani in India, before going to worship, coconuts are broken at a place marked for the purpose. Every day, thousands of coconuts are broken, and some devotees break as many as 108 coconuts at a time as per the prayer. In tantric practices, coconuts are sometimes used as substitutes for human skulls.

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In Hindu wedding ceremonies, a coconut is placed over the opening of a pot, representing a womb. Coconut flowers are auspicious symbols and are a prominent material at Hindu and Buddhist weddings and other important occasions.

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Conducting prayer using coconut.

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